English Seax ‘Giefu’

This is a short slideshow of the sheath-making process I demonstrated at the ‘Oakland Axe ‘n Seax in‘ in Oakland California. The sheath design is based on one found at York in northern England. The knife is an Anglo Saxon broken-back seax constructed from six bars, the decorative spine is two twisted bars framed in pure iron. This type of knife was popular in England in the 11th century CE. The grip on this piece is carved from pin cherry burl. I finished the polish on the blade with pumice and ruby powder. Thanks for looking!


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I made my leather working tool set from bits of pattern welded sword blade, ebony, and antler.

If you’re interested in buying a t-shirt or a print with one of my designs have a look at my print shop, here’s a link — http://www.zazzle.ca/jakepowning. Let me know if there are any designs you’d like me to make available as prints.

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Jake Powning

Jake is a professional swordsmith, artist, and writer who explores the strange place where traditional culture and the land meet.


  1. Great job! I’m soon to make a dagger, didn’t make the blade myself though. I’ll be a little less traditional and make a seax style sheath for it. These images sure will help me prevent some trial & error steps in making it. 😉

  2. I always draw great inspiration from seeing work like this, and at the same time I become overwhelmed.

    ‘Go on forge something!’ It speaks.

    But in viewing the slide other revelations break over the horizon of thought and whisper,

    ‘Look at the blade, it’s a 1/3 of the work…look at the wood and leather!’


  3. Hi Jake,

    First off – beautiful work. Just stunning.

    I’m about to start a similar project on a few knives, including a seax.

    The thing you’re using to tool the leather – is that a piece of wood rounded on one end and almost a chisel on the other? What’s it made of?

    • Hi Jeff, That’s a bone tool, mine is made from antler. It has a sharp point for spreading and smoothing the shallow cuts I make in the leather with my graver. I added an image of my tools at the bottom of the post (above). The bone tool is the second from the bottom, the graver is the third from the top.

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